Heage councillor defects to UKIP

A Tory county councillor from Heage has defected to UKIP.

Councillor Juliette Stevens, who was elected in 2009, said the Conservative Party both locally and nationally was losing “touch with their electorate.”

She said: “I’d encourage anybody who has been turned off voting by three tired old parties, to look at what UKIP can offer, a chance to bring real democracy back to local politics in Derbyshire.”

She said that she had decided to join UKIP in the hope of giving voters “a fourth option” to consider at the authority’s forthcoming elections.

Ms Stevens – who has previously been leader of Ripley Town Council and sat on Amber Valley Borough Council –continued: “I have long felt that the Conservative Party, both locally and nationally, are losing touch with their electorate.

“While acknowledging that, as a party, the Conservatives are a far better option than Labour or the Liberal Democrats, I am convinced the people of Derbyshire deserve more..”

County council elections will take place again in May and Ms Stevens said she had waited as long as she felt she could before making the move.

She said: “My intention is to help UKIP – who are fresh, energetic and optimistic – to help fight for seats across Derbyshire. I’d encourage anybody who has been turned off voting by three tired old parties to look at what UKIP can offer – a chance to bring real democracy back to local politics in Derbyshire.”

Ms Stevens represents Ambergate, Bullbridge, Hartshay, Heage, Lower Hartshay, Marehay, Nether Heage, Ridgeway, Ripley west and Upper Hartshay on the council.